Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Seeing is Believing: An Update on My Eye

Yesterday, I was emailing a freelance piece to my editor. As I pushed the "send" button, it hit me: It's been two months since I realized my sight had returned.

You might remember I had some problems in my left eye at the end of last year. I couldn't see out of the center of my left eye, and I was having problems reading and driving. Just after Christmas, I went to a specialist who told me there was permanent damage in my eye. He said it wasn't going to get better, and there were no treatments.

I accepted the sad prognosis. But other people didn't. When I heard that friends were praying for my healing, my first thought was, That's nice. I'm glad people care about me enough to ask God for something big. Wish I had that much faith. And as soon as I had those thoughts, I started to feel like God was saying, Why don't you ask me?

Eventually, I did ask. I asked God to help me see well enough, or to have enough patience with my sight, to finish a writing project in January. When I sat down to write, I was able to read what I typed with ease. (I hadn't been able to do that for more than a month.)

On January 21, I realized the sight in my left eye had returned. I emailed the freelance story the next day.

OK, here's where I have to get really honest with you. After I got over the initial thrill of having my sight back, I was terrified. What if it only lasted for a week? Or less? Every morning I woke up with the same thought: Could I still see? Would today be the day when my sight failed? Did God even have a hand in any of this?

I told God about my doubts. At the end of each day, I told him, "Well, maybe you really did heal me. Maybe."

At some point within the last couple months, I was reading my Bible and came to Proverbs 20:12, "Hearing and seeing are gifts from the Lord." I probably wouldn't have paid much attention to the verse if I'd read it before my eye problems. But reading it at that moment, it was like God was speaking those words directly to me: "This healing is my gift to you."

Now, if God wants me to know it's really him, he can't just whisper, "It's me, Holly" or tap me on the shoulder. He usually has to hit me over the head. And he did. Yesterday, I was emailing in another freelance story I'd just finished. It reminded me of how God had healed me while I was working on that story back in January. And I was overwhelmed by the realization I hadn't worried about my vision in weeks. I'd finally accepted it as the gift that it is.

But God didn't stop there. Today, there was an email in my inbox from Christina DiMari, the woman I was writing about in January. Today is March 21. It's exactly two months from the day I realized my vision had returned.

I'm so glad God offers me so many "God moments" because collectively, I can't pass them off as coincidence. Honestly, right after my eye got better, I wasn't sure whether it was a fluke. Today, I know God wants me to see all the details he's lined up to show me he's really done this. And maybe next time when he's doing something in my life, he won't have to hit me over the head again.

To ponder:
1) Has something good ever happened in your life, but you wondered whether God had anything to do with it?

2) Consider James 1:17: "Every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father who created all the lights in the heavens. He is always the same and never makes dark shadows by changing" (CEV). When something good happens, do you immediately thank God? What causes you to attribute good events to other things? (e.g. pride, entitlement, busyness, ingratitude, pain, fear, feeling too overwhelmed by what's wrong in your life to see what's good)

3) Have there been moments in your life when you were certain God was doing something for you? What made you certain?

4) Sometimes we need to surrender what we believe is "good" for us in order for God to give us something truly good. What do you need to surrender in order to receive God's good gifts?

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